The Griffin Chronicle

Dying to Drive?

Elsa Ayala, Staff Writer

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Are you dying to drive? Have you ever been involved in, or witnessed a car accident? Or do you know someone who has? Now imagine that they are your sister or brother, or your best friend who you’ve known since you were two. Imagine that they are your child. Every day, innumerable lives are claimed on the road by inexperienced drivers, making motor vehicle accidents the leading cause of death for teens in America.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am just as eager to start driving as the next person. I thoroughly enjoy sitting behind the wheel, being in control, and the freedom to go anywhere without having to ask for a ride. But that freedom comes with a price. In 2015, over 2,330 people between the ages of 15-20 were killed in a car-related accident, while over 221,300 were treated for severe injuries. Everyday, nine teenagers die as a result of a car crash. Drivers between the ages of 16-19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than people over the age of 20. Informational studies conducted by the CDC have proven that young minds are physically incapable of responding to dangerous situations on the road. Teenagers are recognized for taking risks and overestimating their abilities; It’s something we all do do, whether we admit it or not. In a car, an arrogant confidence can be dangerous once we begin to overestimate our driving skills and capabilities. “I can definitely fit between those two cars,” and “I’ll make it before the light changes,” quickly result in deathly outcomes. “It doesn’t matter how smart teens are, or how high they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgement isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet,” states the Rochester University medical center, confirming that we, as teens are still growing and evolving.
As teenagers in America begin to advance into independent individuals, the suggestion of driving presents an exciting opportunity. While the freedom of uninhibited travel is certainly enticing, and it does have its perks, the chances of a trip to the mall ending badly are dangerously high. There is more to consider when in pursuit of your permit or license. So the next time you log into your driver’s ed program, or get behind the wheel, think of your family and your friends, and the people who would be affected if you didn’t make it home safely.

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Dying to Drive?